Nicaragua breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan, recognizes Chinese sovereignty
Nicaragua on Thursday terminated its diplomatic ties with Taiwan and reestablished relations with China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory.
“The government of the Republic of Nicaragua today breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan and ceases to have any contact or official relationship,” Nicaragua’s foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“The People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents all of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory,” the ministry said.
In a statement, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it “deeply regrets” Nicaragua’s decision to “unilaterally” sever ties.
“To safeguard national sovereignty and dignity, Taiwan has decided to terminate diplomatic relations with Nicaragua with immediate effect, end all bilateral cooperation projects and aid programs, and recall staff of its Embassy and Technical Mission in Nicaragua,” the Taiwanese ministry said in the statement.
“Taiwan deeply regrets that the Ortega government has decided to disregard the long-standing and close friendship between the people of Taiwan and Nicaragua,” the statement continued, referring to Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega.
Government representatives from both Nicaragua and China will meet in the Chinese city of Tianjin on Friday. Reuters noted that China has recently ramped up efforts to peel away Taiwan’s allies, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The majority of countries that recognize Taiwan are located in this region, including Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Paraguay and Belize. With Nicaragua’s decision on Thursday, Taiwan is left with only 14 formal diplomatic allies remaining.
This move also serves as a blow to the U.S., coming as the Biden administration has raised alarms about the growing tension between China and Taiwan. Last Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that if China moved to take the island by force, it would face “terrible consequences.”
Nicaragua’s decision comes after months of worsening relations between the Biden administration and Ortega, as well. Last month, the administration banned Nicaraguan government officials from entering the U.S. due to what it called a “sham” election of Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.
“The repressive and abusive acts of the Ortega government and those who support it compel the United States to act,” the administration said in a statement at the time. “The Ortega government’s undemocratic, authoritarian actions have crippled the electoral process and stripped away the right of Nicaraguan citizens to choose their leaders in free and fair elections.”
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